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Opening (5 minutes), Session 4: Animal Homes

In "Creating Home," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice candle or LCD light
  • Lighter or matches if needed
  • Labyrinth
  • Basket of stones, at least one stone for each participant
  • Optional: Newsprint, markers, and tape

Preparation for Activity

  • Place the basket of stones near the threshold where participants enter your meeting space.
  • Spread the labyrinth on the floor, with the chalice candle and matches or LCD light in the center. Place a copy of the opening words there, too, if you have not memorized or posted them.
  • Write the chalice-lighting words on newsprint, and post.
  • Memorize the chalice-lighting words, so you can make eye contact with participants while you say them.

Description of Activity

As children enter, invite them to retrieve their name stones from the basket and join you at the labyrinth. The labyrinth should be spread upon the floor with the chalice in the center and matches or a lighter at hand.

If you have any newcomers or guests in your group, invite them to choose a stone from the basket to use as a name stone. You may wish to ask a participant to offer the basket of stones to newcomers or guests. Inviting new people to take part in the opening ritual is a way to practice hospitality in your Creating Home program which your participants can emulate in their family homes and your shared faith home.

Light the chalice and recite the following affirmation:

We are Unitarian Universalists,

with minds that think

hearts that love,

and hands that are ready to serve.

Say the following in your own words.

This labyrinth reminds us that we are taking a journey together. Every session is yet another portion of that journey. Each time we meet, everyone places his or her stone within the labyrinth. Each stone is a symbol that we are all fellow members of the Creating Home program.

When you place your stone, please say your name and the name of your favorite animal. Sharing with one another is a tradition in our faith community.

Instruct a participant to place his/her name stone on the labyrinth, and guide the others to do the same, one at a time.

Then, say in your own words:

If you were here with us last time, you remember we talked about the homes where bees live. Who can tell us the name of where bees live?

Remind the group that bees live in a beehive. Then say:

Today we will talk about all kinds of animals and their homes. We will talk about wild animals and the homes they build for themselves, and we will talk about farm animals that co-create their homes with humans. As we look at our chalice and labyrinth, we can think about the many kinds of animals and their homes. Think for a moment about your favorite kind of animal, the kind of home it lives in, and the sound that your favorite animal might make.

You may invite the children to demonstrate the animal sounds they imagined.

For more information contact web@uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Friday, May 17, 2013.

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